Defense Needs Fine-Tuning for First-Place Aces
If the first half of the WNBA season has proven nothing else, it is showing that the Las Vegas Aces are the class of the league. The Aces have the best winning percentage at home and on the road. Las Vegas is averaging 5.6 more points per game than any other team.
Playing at a fast pace does come with some risks. In the last two games the Aces have allowed 199 points including 104 in a loss to Chicago the last time out. Chicago shot 57% from the field and nearly 50% from 3-point range to become the second team to beat Las Vegas at home. Washington isn’t likely to play at the same pace. Perhaps playing Las Vegas will help a Washington team that has averaged 72.3 points in its last four games.
Las Vegas had won five games in a row against Washington before falling in the first meeting of the 2022 season on the road when the Aces finished with a season-low 76 points.
Las Vegas (even odds) continues to be listed as the favorite to win the WNBA title according to the WNBA playoff odds. Washington has seen its championship odds go from +1000 to +1200 over the last week.
Seattle (+600) has the fourth-best odds to win the WNBA championship according to the sportsbook. Washington comes in at +1200.
Mystics looking to find their shooting touch
Mike Thibault has had some great shooting teams during his time at the helm of the Connecticut Sun and more recently, with the Washington Mystics. These Mystics are a bit of a work in progress in the shooting department.
In the month of June, only the Indiana Fever and Los Angeles Sparks average fewer points and have lower shooting percentage numbers from the field and from 3-point range.
Drafting Shakira Austin in the first round and acquiring Elizabeth Williams was going to give Washington players who aren’t threats from 3-point range. Their best pure shooter (former MVP Elena Delle Donne) has missed eight games. Washington has eight players averaging at least 15 minutes per game with only Delle Donne, Ariel Atkins, and Myisha Hines-Allen connecting on more than 33% of their 3-point attempts.
The first two games of the road trip for Washington have both gone over the Las Vegas odds total after 15 of Washington’s previous 19 games have gone under the total.
Young Starting To Get Comfortable for Aces
With four 20-point efforts in a span of six games, Jackie Young was playing as well as anybody in the WNBA in late May and early June. However, after being sidelined for nearly two weeks, it took Young a little bit of time to get back her offensive mojo. Young had 21 points on 8-of-27 shooting in her first two games after returning to the court.
It was a different story the last time out. Young matched her season-high with three 3-pointers. She finished with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting in a loss to Chicago. Young added five rebounds, six assists, two steals, and no turnovers.
Those efforts are part of the reason why she has been named a starter in the upcoming WNBA All-Star Game.
“dreams don’t work unless you do” it’s such a blessing to be named an ALL STAR.. a STARTER at that. not gonna lie, this is a weekend i’ve looked forward to & worked towards for a long time. S/O to everyone that voted.. i appreciate y’all❤️ see y’all in Chicago🙌🏾🌟 pic.twitter.com/tBidfK2FES
— Jackie Young (@JackieYoung3) June 23, 2022
With Young and Kelsey Plum both topping the 20-point mark while A’ja Wilson and Dearica Hamby combining for 31 points, the Aces did more than enough offensively in the game. If Young continues to play as she did in the Chicago game, there won’t be many losses in the future for Las Vegas.
Something to consider for those who bet online, Las Vegas is 1-5 against the spread in its last six games and 1-4 against the spread in the last five home games.
Mystics vs Aces Game Information
- Game: Mystics 11-9 (5-5 on the road) vs Aces 13-3 (8-2 at home)
- Location: Michelob ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas
- Day/Time: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: WNBA Live
Mystics vs Aces Betting Lines
Washington Mystics +9½ -110 +350 168 -110o 79½ -115o 79½ -115u
Las Vegas Aces -9½ -110 -450 168 -110u 89 -115o 89 -115u
Mystics vs Aces Prediction
When the teams met in May, the 10 steals by Washington played a key role in handing Las Vegas its first loss. The Aces were held to 65 field-goal attempts, five under their season average.
The game could come down to pace. Washington will try to limit the transition opportunities and would like to hold Las Vegas under 70 field-goal attempts once again.
Wilson has posted four straight double-doubles against Washington. She is averaging 16 points and 13.5 rebounds in those contests. Washington’s Ariel Atkins is putting up 21.5 points in the last four matchups against Las Vegas.
Las Vegas will be without reserve guard Riquna Williams once again. Williams hasn’t played since a May 17 win over Phoenix. Elizabeth Williams is expected to be back for Washington after missing the last game.
After giving up more than 100 points the last time out, expect a more focused effort by the Aces this time.